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Eastern Devon Island Nunataks (NU057)


Eastern Devon Island Nunataks (NU057)

Eastern Devon Island, Nunavut

Latitude 75.358°N
Longitude 80.922°W
Altitude 1,500m
Area 6,088.02km²

Site Description

Most of the land on Eastern Devon Island, Nunavut is covered by the Devon ice cap. The area is underlain by metamorphic and granitic rocks of the Canadian Shield. Nunataks (rock outcrops rising above the ice fields) occur along major glaciers flowing out to the northern coast and in the southeastern corner of the icecap. The nunataks reach elevations up to 1500 m.


There are four separate Ivory Gull colonies on Eastern Devon Island, each about 20-30 kilometres apart from the next. The colonies were surveyed in 1982, and the estimated number of birds at each colony was 25, 30, 30, and 6. Breeding has not been confirmed at these colonies and the population estimates are highly uncertain. The 91 birds counted in 1982 represents 4% of the nationally vulnerable Canadian Ivory Gull population (and thus 4% of the North American population). However, population estimates for this far-ranging nomadic bird are uncertain.

Conservation Issues

The remote and inaccessible location of the Ivory Gull breeding colonies limits direct risk from human disturbance. At other sites, disturbance by humans, and in particular, low-flying aircraft have resulted in colony abandonment. In the past, hydrocarbon exploration has been proposed for western Baffin Bay and if conducted may result in disturbance and pollution of feeding areas.

IBA Criteria Habitats Land Uses Potential or Ongoing Threats Conservation Status
Ivory Gull
Number Year Season